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clearing up the mud

Discussion in 'Recording' started by tundrkys, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. tundrkys

    tundrkys Guest

    I know you more than likely posted the answer to this question many a times, but if you don't mind, I need help.
    My bass is sounding murky, and I can't really tell if it is a problem between the bass and guitar, the bass and the drum, but it sounds like it may be all three. what frequency ranges should I be working in, and should I be attempting to clear this problem up with a compressor?
     
  2. How many drum tracks do you have? Eqing low end off the OHs can help. I find eq to be a good way to clean up the bottom end. Try Dropping 50hz off the bass and 100hz off the kick. Take the low end off the guitars. Under 400 hz is where the devil lives. This is so important to getting a good mix. Cheers, Doc.
     
  3. WayneG

    WayneG Guest

    The way I generally sort out low-end sonic space is:

    Reduce the number of tracks if possible i.e. the fewer instruments in the mix, the bigger each one
    should sound & visa-versa.
    Experiment with your panning.

    Some general frequency rules you could use:
    Bass Guitar - Drop 50hz
    Kick Drum - Drop 80 to 100hz
    Electric Guitars - Drop 240Hz
    Acoustic Guitars - Drop 80Hz

    Generally speaking, emphasis on anything under 60hz will make the music sound muddy.
    In addition, if it sounds muddy, cut some at 250Hz.
    Also a bell curve zoning in on a couple of woofy areas can keep muddiness.

    You can also make sure no two equalizers are boosted at the same frequency. If so, move one a little higher or lower. eg. Kick drum is cut at 200Hz. Boost the Bass at 200Hz.

    However this is just a guide ... also what monitors are you using?

    Regards,
    Wayne Gardner
    Studio Owner/ Producer/ Engineer
    GTA Studio
    Forestville Sydney Australia
    Ph 61 2 9975 6568
    Mobile 0412 077748
    Email: waynegardner@optushome.com.au
    Internet: http://www.gtastudio.8k.com
     
  4. WayneG

    WayneG Guest

    I meant to say,

    "Also a bell curve zoning in on a couple of woofy areas can help reduce muddiness"
     
  5. If you are using a pick, don't bother reading this. If you are plucking, read on, this helped my sound out a ton. You might be doing this already.

    Here is another trick I played with last night.
    I am a bass player and I am constantly trying to get a better bass sound...its soooo tough to get a killer sound.

    I was laying down tracks last night and started playing this way. This is only dealing with right hand playing technique. Try this, flatten out your tone controls on your bass and split the pickups 60:40, 60 being the bridge if you have a bridge pickup. If you don't, disregard. Now, instead of playing in the middle or towards the neck, pull your right hand back to the bridge pickup and maintain that position. It is a little tougher to pluck but you will get a way tighter sound with more definition and less boooom and mud.

    Hope this helps.

    Corny :w:
     
  6. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Does it sound murky by itself or only when you play all the tracks? If it's still not sounding defined enough when you solo it, you'll have to learn how to improve the basic recorded sound of your bass. One favorite technique is to use a D.I. track layered together with a miced amp track to get a nice defined, yet very full sound.

    If the soloed track sounds great by itself, you'll have to start looking at the perenial mix problems of -
    #1, carving out some tonal space in the other instruments to make room for the bass - as well as,
    #2, slimming down the bass itself so it can fit well in the space you make.

    I personally find this second part to be the biggest mixing challenge, because I'm a bass player too (hi, Corny!) and a bass sound that works great in the mix doesn't sound so wonderfully full when you solo it.

    Good luck, and keep us posted how it goes. We'll all learn from your solution.
     
  7. Screws

    Screws Active Member

    Does it sound murky by itself or only when you play all the tracks? If it's still not sounding defined enough when you solo it, you'll have to learn how to improve the basic recorded sound of your bass. One favorite technique is to use a D.I. track layered together with a miced amp track to get a nice defined, yet very full sound.

    If the soloed track sounds great by itself, you'll have to start looking at the perenial mix problems of -
    #1, carving out some tonal space in the other instruments to make room for the bass - as well as,
    #2, slimming down the bass itself so it can fit well in the space you make.

    I personally find this second part to be the biggest mixing challenge, because I'm a bass player too (hi, Corny!) and a bass sound that works great in the mix doesn't sound so wonderfully full when you solo it.

    Good luck, and keep us posted how it goes. We'll all learn from your solution.
     

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